CMU’s student-run art gallery hosts professional and student artists |

CMU’s student-run art gallery hosts professional and student artists

Brittany Markert
Art oily paint and brushes
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto


WHAT: Mai Lyn Schantz Reception & Artist Talk

WHEN: 6:30-9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 7

WHERE: CMU art gallery, 437 Colorado Ave., Grand Junction

COST: Free

INFO:, 970-248-1833

Classroom instruction may teach the basics of an undergraduate degree, but often real-life work experience is used to supplement training. That’s why Colorado Mesa University recently joined forces with Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to bring the student-run art gallery to downtown Grand Junction. It’s located at 437 Colorado Ave., and still remains unnamed.

“It’s both a gallery for student work for work experience and a way to collaborate with professionals,” Danielle Cox, the gallery’s current student director, said. “It helps students set exhibits to gallery standards and gain experience installing pieces.”

The Free Press reported last month that the new art gallery is the result of a partnership with DDA, which offered to split a 5,000-square-foot space to help the gallery’s move downtown. The DDA also moved from its former location at the Whitman Educational Center near Whitman Park (248 S. Fourth St.).

Exhibits at the new gallery are set to rotate every six weeks, and it will change back and forth from professional to student works.

Mai Wyn Schantz, a stainless steel artist from Denver, is currently exhibiting her art. Schantz will also present her work at a gallery reception planned for Friday, Nov. 7, from 6:30-9 p.m. It is free and open to the public, and it will coincide with Grand Junction’s First Friday Art Walk.


According to Cox, a committee made up of six CMU student officers vote and choose each show presented at the gallery.

“We also install the shows together,” she said. “It’s a way for fine art students who want to work in the art world to take it seriously.”

Working at the new gallery is also a good way to gain experience while attending school and to add to students resumes, Cox added.

CMU’s art gallery was originally operated from its University Center on campus (at the corner of 12th Street and Elm Avenue), showcasing student artwork in a small venue. It was mostly seen by students who walked through the University Center, Cox noted. Now located downtown, students will be exposed to a broader, multi-faceted audience.

The move was spurred by the success of a student show hosted downtown last spring. Called TETRAD, it was hosted from April 4 through May 11 at 503 Colorado Ave.

“Some students had art work sold at the experimental gallery we had downtown during the spring semester,” Cox said. “It was crazy how much attention it got.”

CMU’s permanent downtown gallery is open Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and it is free to enter and open to the public.

For more information, visit

Caitlin Row, Free Press editor, contributed to this article.

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